The Voice Inside Your Head

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You will face challenges, set-backs and criticism in your sporting journey every day. Ultimately, your success will depend on how you think to overcome them.

As you approach a challenge, the voice inside your head might say to you: “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the skills? What if you lose?” As you hit a set-back, that voice might say: “Last time it was too tough and you failed. It’s not too late to back out. If you had the talent this would be easy.” As you face criticism, you might hear yourself say “It’s not my fault, it was theirs”. Or, you might quickly become angry at the person who is giving you feedback and ignore what they are saying. And, as others on your team, or around you, reach success, you may feel threatened and disappointed in your own efforts.

On the other hand…

As you approach a challenge, that voice inside your head might say to you “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn with time and effort.” All successful people had failures along the way. “Losing is OK because I will learn from it and come out stronger next time”. As you hit a set-back, that voice might say “Nothing worth doing comes easily. With tons of effort and passion you will get there.” As you face criticism, you might hear “If you don’t take responsibility, you can’t fix it.” You must listen, however painful it is, and learn whatever you can. And as others around you reach success, you may find lessons and inspiration in their achievements.

How you interpret challenges, set-backs and criticism is your choice. You can think with a “fixed” mind-set and feel that your talents and abilities are lacking to overcome them. Or you can think with a “growth” mind-set and interpret them as a sign to increase your effort, stretch yourself to learn more, and expand on your abilities.

Which voice are you going to listen to?

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